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Speaking test 8 model answers

NOTE: The model answers below are a Band 9.0 response, but this is not the only way these questions could have been answered.

Part 1

“Do you always wear a watch?”

Actually, I don’t really like wearing any kind of jewellery or accessories, so I very rarely wear a watch unless it’s very important for me to know the time. I am wearing one today because I think it will be helpful for timing during the IELTS test, but I would say I only wear it about once every couple of weeks. Almost everyone these days has a mobile phone so it’s easy to get the time anyway. I think some people are a little too worried about the exact time and spend too much time rushing around, when most of the time it isn’t so important.

“Do you sometimes feel that time moves too slowly or quickly?”

Well, yes, definitely. I think most people have the feeling of time moving really quickly when they are on holiday but often moves too slowly when we are at work, especially when we don’t find the work that interesting. I have heard that the feeling of time moving fast and slow depends on the number of new things you are doing or seeing, so when you are on holiday there is so much new information that time flies by, whereas doing the same thing that you have done many times doesn’t give your brain much to think about so you get the feeling of time moving slowly.

“How do you feel when you are late for something?”

That really depends on what the situation is. If I was running late for this speaking test, for example, I would start feeling really harassed and stressed because it is very important to be on time. I guess anything where it is important you are there at a certain time makes me feel like that – work, for example. But most other occasions, like meeting friends for lunch or visiting someone’s home, I’m not too worried. In my country, people don’t feel they have to stick exactly to the times given for social events, although I know that in other cultures, being late is taken as a sign of rudeness or poor manners.

“How interested are you in sport?”

I’d have to say that on a day-to-day level, I’m not really interested in much sport. I don’t have a favourite team, and I don’t make any real effort to watch anything sports-related on television. I might go to the park and play with friends, maybe a little tennis or something, but that’s quite rare. I go to a gym, but I’m not very dedicated so sometimes there can be a week or more when I wouldn’t go at all. Having said that, I really enjoy watching the football World Cup. There’s something about it, I think, that makes it really interesting even though I don’t know any of the players or the teams, and it can get quite emotional near the end of the tournament.

“Are most people interested in sport where you come from?”

Oh yes, very much. Rugby is probably the biggest sport, with most people supporting one of the league teams. A lot of places you can go to at night have a wide screen television so that people can continue to watch whatever sports are on. As I said, I’m not generally that interested so I find it quite annoying to have the televisions on everywhere you go.

“Do you think children should be encouraged to play sports?”

For the most part, I would have to agree – I think there should be some encouragement for children to do something active, and most sports also have a social side like learning how to play in a team, so I think they can be very valuable. Add to that the rising rate of childhood obesity, and getting youngsters outside using up some energy and burning fat must be a good thing. The only part I am a little wary about is pushing kids too hard into something they may not be interested in. My friend, for example, really wants his child to be good at rugby so they play a lot, but the child actually doesn’t like the game and really doesn’t look forward to going out to play.

“Do you like flowers?”

Well, I think they can be very decorative and can make some places look much more inviting, but it really depends how you have them. I don’t like cutting flowers to put on a kitchen table, for example – I think they look much better growing naturally in a garden. I’m not a very good gardener myself – I don’t have much patience – but my next door neighbour spends a lot of time in her garden and it always look really colourful no matter what the time of year.

“Do many people grow flowers in your country?”

Hmm… I haven’t really thought about it before…I’d say probably not, not really. Most people have grass, you know, just a lawn, rather than much of a flower garden. There are some larger, commercial growers near us, and they grow their products for sale to florists and markets, but the average person is happier to have somewhere to play a game or for the kids to run about in rather than flower beds. I think part of the problem is that they often need so much care and attention.

“When was the last time you bought flowers and why?”

I went to a birthday party a few weeks ago, and I bought flowers then to take as a gift. It’s not a particularly common gift for birthdays, but I didn’t really know the person very well – she was a friend of a friend – but I thought I should take something so flowers seemed like a good option. Apart from that, the last time I bought flowers was for a wedding.

Part 2

Describe a television programme you have seen that you enjoyed

You should say

  • What type of programme it is
  • What it was about
  • When you saw it

You should also say why you enjoyed it

Well, I’m going to talk about a documentary I saw recently. It was on television about a week ago, I think. I hadn’t planned to watch it, I was just flicking through the channels and I saw it, and it looked very interesting. It was looking into the effect of tourism on the population and behaviour of dolphins, and they found that in some instances the number of tourist boats out offering diving trips with the dolphins was having a significant – and very negative – impact. The programme explained that when the number of dive boats in the area increased, the dolphins’ breathing became a lot faster, and their movements became much more erratic. In the areas that the documentary focussed on, dolphin families had become a lot smaller and the dolphins generally had become increasingly less interested in socialising with divers over recent years. The programme was focussed particularly on a place in New South Wales, Australia, saying that watching and diving with the dolphins had brought millions of dollars into the region.

I really liked the programme because it was informative without being too emotional or biased. The narrator concluded by saying that humans interacting with dolphins was only a problem if it was done to excess, and with a little caution and maybe some government regulation or limitation on the number of boats, that dolphin related tourism could continue. Another reason why I really liked the programme is because I really like dolphins – I think they are amazing looking creatures, and are apparently incredibly intelligent. I remember seeing one at an aquarium, and although I don’t normally like the idea of keeping animals in captivity, I remember thinking it could do some impressive tricks.

Part 3

“Can you describe the most popular types of television programme in your country?”

Well, documentaries and news programme are still popular, but there has been a significant increase in the number of American programmes being broadcast, and they are easily the most popular these days. This has actually caused a lot of smaller local productions to have to close as they simply couldn’t compete for the audience, and I think that’s a great shame. It’s important that, I believe, that the media, be it newspaper, radio or television, represents at least some local or national content, rather than simply importing it. Personally, I find many American programmes, particularly comedies, to be well below the standard of programming that used to be made in our own country.

“What are the advantages of television over other forms of entertainment?”

I think the main advantage, at least for me, is that watching television often requires very little effort. We can hear and see, so there’s no need to have to imagine too much, and with most programmes, you don’t have to have your full concentration on the programme – you can actually be doing other things at the same time and just glance at the screen now and again. Of course, although these are generally advantages, they can also be a problem. Many people these days are simply not reading anywhere near as much as they used to, and have lost the facility to entertain themselves without some form of input, either from the television or the internet.

“Do you think that television can be useful in education?”

Yes, I think so. The ability to show images and video that are related to the content can be very useful. In fact, i think there are many forms of technology that can be used as learning aids, but I think they need to be used carefully and in moderation. The same is true of using the internet for learning. It’s an important skill for children to learn, but I don’t think it should be to the detriment of traditional skills such as writing by hand or researching from books. Also, I think that television and other technology shouldn’t be considered a replacement for having a teacher in the room. I think it’s very important to maintain some human contact when learning when you are a child, someone who can guide you but also motivate and encourage.

“Are there any negative effects of watching television for children?”

Yes, I think so. There are many people who believe that watching too much television can damage a child’s eyes, although in fact this is not really true. If a child watches television in a well lit room and is not sitting too close to the screen, then there is very little damage done. I think one of the main issues is that television is replacing more traditional forms of entertainment, and children are therefore less able to amuse themselves. As children, my friends and I would play for hours with just a bat and ball, or even just our imagination. Then, of course, there is the problem that the content of many television programmes may not be suitable for children. Although there are times later in the evening when it is accepted that children should children should not watch television – after 9 pm in most countries, I think, there are still some shows or even advertisements that are broadcast in the early evening that I think children shouldn’t be watching.

“Do you think the government should support local television productions?”

I would have to say yes, but only to a certain degree. I think it is important that people can see programmes with local content, and it helps to keep money within a country rather than importing programmes and for the money to head overseas. In addition, with government support, programmes can be aimed more at what is interesting or educational rather than simply aiming for ratings. For example, in my country there are many reality television programmes imported from America, and although many people claim they don’t like them, they seem to have very high ratings. This means that more serious work is not being shown because of the lack of airtime.

“Do you think that advertising on television is effective?”

In some respects, I would say yes, because we have the sounds as well as the pictures. Well made, humorous advertisements with a memorable tune can help you remember the name of the brand, so I guess they have achieved what they set out to do. The main problem is that many people have remote controls, and when the adverts come on, they flick to another channel. This is getting worse as advertising breaks are getting longer, so people are less willing to sit and listen or watch, so I think they are becoming less effective in that respect. Also, there are a lot of recording devices available that allow you to fast forward through adverts, so that’s another problem for the advertisers.

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